The rise of the entity known as the "E3 Hivemind"
April 20th 2040: following the introduction of neural-interface hardware to the consumer market, a small group of E2 users begin testing the new, full-immersion E3 system.
July 3rd 2040: All the testing group is discovered catatonic, still connected to E3, medical scans indicate high-level cerebral activity, despite unresponsiveness to external stimuli. Disconnection from system results in madness.
July 15th 2040: Computers worldwide attacked by rapidly evolving virus that takes over computers and devotes all processing power to the E3 system. The internet ceases to exist as a seperate entity from the E3 system.
July 17th 2040: After the failure of all virus protection programs to prevent the spread of the "E3 virus" governments acknoledge the global threat presented by the virus and devote all resources to preventing the E3 system from expanding any further.
July 21st 2040: While interviewing former E2 users in an attempt to find out what exactly the E3 system is, more E2 users are found catatonic, plugged into E3
August 5th 2040: With the widescale failure of all computing systems, governments organise an attempt to encourage E3 users, believed to be inside the E3 system in a private universe referred to as the "nodegel", to disconnect. Soy production across the world is massively increased, monkeys are captured across the world, women are encouraged, if not forced, to become lesbians,and Mr. T. is resurrected. A number of reports invoving massive amounts of MacDonald's "Ice Cream" are immediately denied by the US government.
September 12th 2040: The attempt to persuade the E3 users to return continues, despite its lack of success and the continued assimilation of many former E2 users as well as a growing number of "newbies". A special, star-studded execution of Bill Gates is held in a last ditch attempt to woo the computer geeks in E3. Scientists (those remaining) come to the conclusion that E3 is now a "hivemind" and that its users are now part of a larger much more intelligent entity.
October 19th 2040: Responding to an attempt by the US government to wipe out the E3 system using an E.M.P. device the artificially intelligent entity known as "EDB" is released upon the world...
My first attempt at a nodeshell rescue. I apologise for any computing innaccuracies.